After premiering nearly a year ago at the Hamptons International Film Festival, Tom Dolby’s The Artist’s Wife has hit streaming services over the weekend. The drama finds Lena Olin as the wife of a famed artist (Bruce Dern) who is suffering from dementia. This is a common theme in the 2020 Oscar season. Florian Zeller’s The Father is a major contender in the big races including the work of its headliners Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. Earlier today, I wrote my post for Supernova which features Colin Firth traveling with his partner Stanley Tucci – who is also suffering from the disease. I was less hopeful for its Academy prospects.
The same holds true here. Reviews are mixed with a current 59% Rotten Tomatoes score. Artist’s has drawn some comparisons to 2018’s The Wife which nearly won Glenn Close her first statue before being upset by the aforementioned Colman in The Favourite. The bulk of the critical praise here has gone to Olin, a veteran actress with one nod to her credit in Supporting Actress for 1989’s Enemies, A Love Story. Dern was a Best Actor nominee seven years ago for Nebraska.
Yet Best Actress is looking crowded already with plenty of legit possibilities on deck. The Artist’s Wife, with its so-so response thus far, appears bound to get lost in the shuffle.